Polio recurs after 19 years in Phillipines

Polio recurs after 19 years in Phillipines

mother watches as a health worker administers a polio vaccine during an anti-polio campaign in Manila. (AFP Photo)

The Philippines health department on Friday confirmed it had detected a second case of the poliovirus this week, as the virus re-emerges in the country 19 years after it was declared polio-free.

The second case was a five-year-old boy in Laguna, south of the capital Manila. The department announced on Thursday that a three-year-old girl had tested positive earlier this week in Lanao del Sur. The two provinces are about 1,400 km (870 miles) apart.

Philippine officials on Friday said they were preparing to vaccinate millions of children against polio to halt an outbreak of a disease it believed to have been eradicated.

It comes as the Philippines grapples to tackle twin outbreaks of dengue and measles that have killed more than 1,000 people since January, most of them children.